We’ve all had our flights delayed or canceled at one point or another. It can ruin the traveling experience and may even affect future flights. You may have to then go in and reschedule a missed connecting flight. However, you might be entitled to financial compensation should this occur. But is the process of receiving that delayed compensation worth it?

In 2004, the European Union passed the EU261 law which protects travelers from airline abuse. This law entitles travelers to financial compensation anytime there is a canceled or delayed flight that the airline is responsible for. Because of this law, you now have the right to file a claim for financial compensation should your flight and travel plans be affected by different types of delays.

Airlines have lost millions of dollars ever since this law was passed, and so they’ve spent years trying to figure out how to impede the process of paying back the money owed to travelers. It could take you months, even years to receive your financial compensation from the airlines should your case go through. When filing a claim against the airline, you have a couple of options – either go in alone, go in with a third-party claim company, or accept a voucher from the airline.

Working With Third-Party Claim Companies

There are some pros and cons to working with a third-party claim company. On one hand, you have to pay them a certain amount of money based on your claim. This amount is usually a percentage of what you are entitled to from the airline after your flight was delayed and will be required once your claim is settled. This is how the third-party claim company makes its money.

On the other hand, these companies know how to guarantee your money from the airline. With all of the loopholes that airlines know how to exploit, getting your entitled claim processed and paid on your own can take months, maybe even years if you’re lucky. However, with a third-party claim company working by your side, your claim will be processed and your money will be paid in no time – all for a small service fee.

Filing A Claim Yourself

You are completely entitled to processing your claim on your own. Much like working with a third-party company, filing your claim yourself comes with some pros and cons. On one hand, that convenience fee that you’d have to pay otherwise is gone and you can keep all of your earnings for yourself. All money earned from the airline is yours to keep and use as you’d like.

However, the airline will try everything in its power to avoid having to pay that delay fee. If there’s a loophole that they can exploit, they will attempt to exploit it. If you don’t know the legal process regarding the EU261 law, chances are the airline will be able to get out of paying you for the delayed flight. If this is the case, working with a third-party delayed flight claim company might be the smarter option.

Accepting the Airline’s Voucher

Once your flight is delayed, the airline may attempt to either reschedule any connecting flights you will miss, or offer you a voucher for a new flight. If you want to accept this, do so with caution as it will likely be of less value than what the airline would have to pay you otherwise. They might seem as though they have your best interests in mind, but they are a business trying to lessen financial losses.

Accept the voucher at your own risk. Once you do, you will no longer have a case for financial compensation in the future. They will have “settled” the case right then and there and you won’t be able to receive payment for lost time. However, denying the voucher and going for a future settlement could lead down a long road of legal issues that delay your payment even further.